Having been the lead sponsor of IPACA since 2011 it was right that we gave full consideration to IPACA moving into the new Aldridge Education Multi-Academy Trust. During the last few months we have listened carefully to the views of parents and the wider community. Following discussions with the RSC, and mutually agreed with her, we now believe that it is no longer in the best interests of the children and IPACA to continue with the Governing Body’s decision to join our multi-academy trust.
We will therefore stand aside as the Academy’s lead sponsor to enable a decision to be reached on how the school is best supported going forward.
Aldridge Education schools all have a strong community focus and our multi-academy trust is being built on local clusters of schools working closely together to support educational improvement. Amongst our sponsored schools IPACA is unique in being the only secondary and sixth form school for its community, and providing the majority of primary education on Portland as well. In its current educational and financial position we believe that IPACA needs the support of a multi-academy trust with more resources to deploy locally.
Our only priority in this process is the success of the children of Portland. As sponsor we have led the development of a great new campus at Maritime House. With Joss Hayes joining the school last autumn, a recently boosted senior leadership team, and having developed a clear plan for rapidly improving results at the academy, we believe that IPACA can have a great future. However, another multi-academy trust with resources locally to support IPACA to put that plan into effect should be able to achieve that improvement faster than we may be able to.
We have agreed with the RSC that we will stand down as sponsor of the academy and are in the process of agreeing the date by which this will happen, as well as transitional arrangements. In the interim period, IPACA will continue to be run by its Principal and its Governing Body, with the additional support and expertise of the Interim Academy Board.
We are confident that our decision to step back as lead sponsor at this stage will not disrupt the day-to-day running of the academy and we are committed to ensuring we support the academy in an orderly transition process.